awkwardness at the office

Today is Sunday, and like Rebecca Black so kindly taught us, tomorrow is Monday. That also means that at 8am sharp, I will be walking into my office building.

While college offers many awkward life situations, it in no way whatsoever prepares anyone for awkward corporate situations. And there are soooo many.


Let me share with you a few:

1.) The long hallway
– Oh gosh, this could possibly be the worst thing ever. Imagine turning into a long hallway. Now imagine someone else from the other end of the hallway turning in to enter as well. The walk feels like an eternity, and in your mind, you know you’re eventually going to pass this person. Your heart is beating. WHAT DO YOU DO?! Do you ignore? Do you acknowledge? Awkward head nod? Well let me tell you how I handle this. My brain would very much like me to say “hi”, but my voicebox isn’t even having it. So what happens is that I produce the most unrecognizable sound ever. Kinda like a grunt. It’s actually pretty embarrassing. There are 2 possible outcomes. Either: 1.) The person heard me and is wondering what the hell is wrong with me, or 2.) The person did not hear me, but still isn’t going to acknowledge me because of assumed reasons (see below ‘Diversity’). This happens at least once everyday.

2.) The coffee station
On each floor in my office building, there’s a complimentary “hot beverage” station. And while I love the free tea, I hate actually going there to make my tea. I usually wait until 10am, when I know that everyone has had their coffee fix, until I go there to make my tea. Sometimes though, there is that asshole that interrupts my moment of tea-making peace by coming to make their coffee and try to make small talk with me. Anyone who knows me knows that I HATE SMALL-TALK. Such a true waste of existence. I can do nothing but stand there and provide courtesy laughs and smiles while I rush through making my cup of tea. I usually just end by saying “[courtesy laugh], Well I’ll see ya later.” Of which I clearly have no intention of doing so.

3.) The bathroom
– Wowzers that’s awkward. How come I can’t ever just have the bathroom to myself? Just to get away. Sometimes I just wanna dance and spend odd amounts of time looking at myself in the mirror. But somebody has to walk in and I have to think quickly and bolt to the sink to pretend I was washing my hands. There are also those times where I feel like I have to hurry up and finish peeing and get outta there real quick  because somebody just took the stall next to me. Everybody knows that small-talk while washing your hands is just awkward and fake. We’re women, and were probably thinking really judgmental things about each other.

4.) Ending conversations
– Why is it so hard for people to end conversations? Who honestly enjoys those 2 minutes of silence where each person wonders how to end the conversation. My manager usually waits for those 2 minutes, gives up, and just walks away without saying a thing. I’m not sure whether I should be offended.

5.) Diversity

– Yes, the elephant in the room. Corporate diversity is like the biggest joke ever.  Everyone imagines it’s like this amazing thing where everyone will accept each other’s differences, when in fact, the truth is so far from it. My generation is a little different because it’s not odd to have close friends of different ethnic backgrounds. However, when you’re in a field with very little minorities (engineering) and a building with majority of coworkers from a completely older generation, things can get a little weird. I’d like to think that they don’t really know how to act around a race they’ve never associated with, and it’s pretty clear to see on people’s faces. I can almost see the beads of sweat forming on their foreheads when they might possibly have to interact with me. Like they must form each sentence carefully. But I won’t continue, because this topic can get a little bit touchy. Just know that’s it’s awkward.

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